“We have fun and there’s great team spirit" Nemat, Customer Assistant
Nemat started working with Lidl on a part time basis after a taking a year off to travel. He is now setting his sights on working his way up the career ladder.
What were you doing before you joined Lidl?
I actually worked for a competitor as a Deputy Store Manager. Then I heard Lidl were recruiting for store management positions. Lidl seemed like a company that really held the same core values, had a good stock trend and offered opportunities for progression - so it was something I really wanted to be a part of.
And what does your current role involve?
When I joined, I was pretty much just focused on the shop floor; ensuring there were no gaps on the shelves, making sure we delivered good customer service and satisfied customers’ needs, working on the tills. I’ve just started training to be a Bakery Assistant, so I'm currently supporting with that so if a Baker is off sick, or on holiday, then I’m normally the one that takes over and makes sure the bakery is managed.
Dealing with customers is brilliant, because it makes every day different. It's nice to meet people from different backgrounds and age groups and make sure that each customer leaves with a smile on their face. We have quite a few regular customers in our store, they pop in, say, hi and ask how I am which is nice.
Have there been any particular challenges you’ve faced?
There have been quite a few actually. I mean, I’d never done bakery before, so that was the biggest challenge for me. In my old job we always had Bakers there too, so we never had to deal with that side of things. It was amazing when they asked me to take it on, because it was something new I could learn. At the beginning it was quite tough - making sure the stock is neat and tidy and knowing where everything is, but now I'm used to it.
I might be packing or replenishing stock, making sure that the aisles are clean, keeping the shop floor tidy or checking the quality of the bakery produce in the bakery – there is always something to do but there’s always someone there to make sure that everything's running smoothly though, and if anything’s been missed or I need support, someone’s always there to guide me through it.
Do you feel appreciated?
Yes, you’re definitely appreciated for doing a good job. In my previous company there were no headsets or anything - you just got told to do something, you went and did it, and that was that. But with Lidl it's nice because everyone's in contact with each other throughout your shift, so you know what's happening around the store. I think that's brilliant. You’ll never see management just relaxing in the office. As soon as they finish the paperwork, you'll see them running around the store helping to replenish stock and making sure everything is running smoothly. We have really good fun and there’s a great team spirit.
How do you feel about the work life balance at Lidl?
Well, I started part-time, just to get to know the company, but I've since gone full-time and the store is really close to me, only a 15 minutes walk from my house which is amazing. The hours and schedules work perfectly for me and my lifestyle and they’re flexible with everyone, not just me. The Store Manager always thinks about our general wellbeing, which is great. Everyone's happy, and that means that the team always works hard as well, knowing that they've been looked after properly. It’s perfect really.
What do you think about the training and development at Lidl?
I actually approached the Store Manager recently and mentioned that I want to get back into management. He was really happy about that, and they’ve been really supportive. Lidl always like to see progression, because at the end of the day it’s good for them as well and I’ve started my training already, which is great! I'm getting a lot of support during my shift and if there’s anything new, they always show me how to deal with it.
What are the next steps for you within Lidl?
Shift Manager will be my next step, and then hopefully I'll move up the ladder from there. We have stores opening every month, so there are a lot of opportunities here. There's always a chance for you to move up as long as you work hard. It’s been so nice working here - as I mentioned, I worked at a competitor previously and Lidl is by far the best. I just love it, it's such a nice environment to work in.
Could you sum up that makes Lidl different?
As I say, it's the environment. You always have two supervisors working per shift and you have a good bond with them. In some other retail stores that can be quite difficult. At Lidl, they are always there for you to ask anything you need. Also, instead of having 5 or 10 similar products, they only have maybe two, so, the range is smaller. Lidl keep it simple, but effecient.
Do you feel rewarded?
Yes, the pay is great and being recognised for your work is a good thing - Lidl does that all the time. So, that’s amazing. When you do a good job, the Store Manager will tell you, which really motivates us.
And do you ever chat to your friends about working at Lidl?
I often do. I tell them about Lidl and they’re surprised to be honest. They’re like, "Wow, really?" and I’ll say "Yeah. It's a very nice environment to work in. A really friendly team, simple and everything makes sense”. I’ve actually spoken to a few of them and told them to come and work for Lidl, and they’re definitely thinking about it as well.
Finally, what four words would you use to describe Lidl?
Helpful. Service. Quality. Friendly.